Picking the correct metal bending machine can streamline your operations and prevent unnecessary downtime. These tips for choosing the right metal bending machine will help you make a decision that can significantly enhance your production process.
Consider the Type and Thickness of Metal You Typically Use
The type and thickness of metal you frequently use are significant factors that influence the kind of machine you should choose. Different machines can handle various types of metals and thicknesses. For instance, if your operations involve working with hard and thick metals like stainless steel, you need a machine with higher power and tonnage. Conversely, a machine with less power and tonnage is adequate for softer and thinner metal like aluminum.
Think About the Length of Workpieces
The length of the workpieces you typically handle is another critical factor to consider when choosing the right metal bending machine. If you work with long pieces of stainless steel, you’ll need a steel folding machine specifically made to handle long workpieces.
Conversely, if you work with shorter pieces, a machine with a shorter bed length will suffice. Therefore, understanding the size of your workpieces is critical to making the right choice.
Consider Bending Radius and Tonnage
When choosing a metal bending machine, consider the bending radius and tonnage. These factors play a crucial role in determining the quality of the bend. The bending radius refers to the inside curvature of the bend, while the tonnage is the amount of force the machine can apply to create the bend. Machines with high tonnage can handle larger bending radii and thicker materials.
Look for Deflection Compensation
Deflection happens when the ram or the bed of the bending machine bends due to the force applied to the workpiece. This can create inaccurate bends. Machines equipped with deflection compensation can adjust for this, ensuring accurate bends every time.
Get Computer Controls
Modern metal bending machines come with computer controls that provide higher precision and repeatability. They also offer programming capabilities, allowing you to save and recall specific bending programs. This feature can significantly increase productivity and reduce setup times.
Take the Type of Power Into Account
Metal fabrication machines are available in hydraulic, electric, and pneumatic power versions. While hydraulic machines offer more power, electric and pneumatic machines are quieter and more energy efficient.
Understanding your needs and the capabilities of different machines will guide you in choosing the right metal bending machine. When in doubt, consult the experts at Mac-Tech. We’ll be happy to help you determine the best types of machines for your shop.